Throat cancer is a cancer involving the throat, tonsils and/or voice box. The throat begins at the back of the mouth and extends down to the lower part of the neck. The tonsils are located on each side of the back of the mouth. The voice box is just under the Adam’s apple in the mid neck. Throat cancer may involve more than one of these areas including the lymph nodes of the neck which are located throughout the neck.
As with any cancer, it’s sometimes difficult to determine a cause, however there are certain factors that increase the risk of developing throat cancer including, excessive alcohol use, chewing or smoking tobacco, reflux and certain viruses.
The symptoms of throat cancer vary, depending on the area involved with the cancer. They may include any of the following:
The treatment of cancer of the throat depends on the location of the cancer as well as which area(s) are involved. Spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body may also factor into treatment choices. There are three main means of treating throat cancer: surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy which may be used in various combinations.
Most importantly, the earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the higher the cure rate. When found early, curing throat cancer is much more likely and requires much less treatment. If you have any or a combination of the above symptoms, please see an ear, nose and throat doctor for diagnosis and treatment.